Challenges are an inevitable part of our lives and none of us is spared from troubles. You can’t be strong and courageous without having to deal with obstacles along the journey of life. Show me anyone who had only wonderful things happening to them, and I will show you a person who is frustrated and knows little about achieving success.
We never knew that the current crisis would strike, and we are here now. We went through life the best way we knew it. Never has it happened at this large scale that people would be reminded of a basic hygiene requirement such as washing one’s hands. Coughing next to people was never a source of alarm. Being in a crowd or a queue with others was never a source of consternation.
The government came up with guidelines that are meant to protect us from each other. We now find ourselves been told how many of us should be at the funeral. We are limited to a certain number of people in a car and many other guidelines implemented to manage the scourge. All these changes are for our good.
What I have learned from this lockdown is that we change by choice or we are forced to change. Forced change is not desirable because it does not come with many options.
The lesson we can take is that it is better to be deliberate about the changes that you want to make in your life than to be forced into change. I have seen people being forced to change because they are facing jail time, or they are on the hospital beds.
In the words of Roger Crawford, “being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional”. The people who choose to do nothing will remain defeated. These are the people who will dismiss this as just another event that came and passed. Progress will be made by those who do not believe in defeat but choose to take the lessons out of this calamity and redefine their lives.
Here are a few areas I would like to draw your attention to, and you can add to the list:
#1. Relationships: This presents an opportunity to audit your relationships and define who you permit in your home and life. In the last 10 days since the lockdown, who have you kept in touch with? Why did you keep connecting to these people? Is your life different with having some people away from you? At the core, who matters in your life?
#2. Finances: We had to scramble to buy what we need for the period of the lockdown and many food stores were filled to a point where some stores ran out of food. I did not see many people rushing to buy clothes or to buy cars to park in their garages. Going forward, how will this crisis help you redefine what we have been taught about wants and needs when it comes to finances?
#3. Health: A small and vital thing as failure to wash hands was found to be the reason for the high mortality of new babies at hospitals. During this crisis, washing hands is one of the critical things to do to manage the spread of the virus. How seriously do you take your health? When are you going to do the full medical check-up that you have been planning to do?
#4. Career: Jobs were defined as essential or non-essential for this period we are in. Some jobs can be performed from home using technology and online connection capability. What does this say about your career and the job that you are doing? Is there a need to revisit your skill sets or the business you are currently in?
#5. Higher purpose: This area precedes all the other aspects. Do you have dreams that you believe you still need to go after? Do you have goals that if money, time or any excuse you have was not a challenge, you would have gone after with rigour? Are you connected to a higher purpose than where you are currently?
But in the end, this crisis presents the opportunity to revisit how to use your most valuable commodity, which is time. It is the right time to respect life, review how to value people, how to define a job from career, cement reciprocal and valuable friendships and how to make your money work for you. Learning can take place only if there is a change in behaviour. We cannot remain the same after this pandemic. We have a choice to see this as being alarmist of being deliberate about how we give meaning to our lives by choosing not to remain the same.
Tex Hlalele is a Life & Business Coach, Consultant, Speaker and Author. Book Tex for speaking engagements and to help you and your team gain insights and possibilities for individual learning and organizational advancement on +2764 656 6174 or visit http://www.dreamsmadepossible.co.za/contact.html. He is the author of the book, Face the person in the mirror.